The Benefits And Side Effects Of Delay Creams & Sprays

photo of four different over the counter delay sprays

Delay creams and sprays are a temporary solution to premature ejaculation that are easy to use, take action quickly (usually), and can be used discreetly if needed.

They can be especially useful if your problem is caused by physical sensitivity rather than factors like anxiety or a medical condition.

In this article, you’ll find out more about the pros and cons of using a delay cream or spray, which will hopefully help you decide if it’s the right option for you or not.

And if you’ve already decided you want to try one, you might like to see my latest delay spray recommendations.

The benefits

1. An easy option which requires minimal effort

Using a delay spray is one of the quickest and easiest approaches to dealing with premature ejaculation. All you need to do is apply it before you have sex, wait a few minutes before washing it off, and you’re good to go.

2. Use on demand

A delay spray only needs to be applied each time you have sex. So if you don’t have sex often, you don’t need to worry about continually taking medication just in case. This is in stark contrast to some other treatments such as anti-depressants, which would need to be taken every day.

3. The ingredients are relatively safe if used correctly

The ingredient most often used is lidocaine, and to a lesser extent benzocaine or prilocaine. These are all topical anesthetics that are thought to be safe for most people. Promescent, Fortacin, Super Dragon 6000, Dynamo, Stud 100 and K-Y Duration, for example, all use lidocaine.

Some people may have adverse reactions to a topical anesthetic, but most people tolerate the ingredients well. Having said that, it’s quite common to experience a tingling or hot sensation when you apply it to your penis.

4. Available without a prescription

Most delay sprays and creams can be bought over the counter or ordered online, without the need for a prescription. So if you’re not keen on talking to your doctor about it, this is a discreet self-help option that can avoid any potential embarrassment.

5. The numbing is usually effective

The most important question is of course whether it actually works or not. And in my experience, they usually do the numbing job very effectively.

However, the numbing action is sometimes a little too strong and causes other problems, as you’ll see in the next section.

Possible issues and side effects

1. Loss of erection

One of the common side effects of delay products is too much numbing. If the spray is too strong, or you put too much on, you may end up with reduced sensation.

This can sometimes also result in difficulty getting or maintaining an erection. You then have to wash off what you can, and wait for the anesthetic to wear off before trying again.

This obviously isn’t an ideal situation in the throes of passion!

2. Loss of pleasure

Another common problem with desensitizing is that you effectively have a trade-off. You might last longer during sex, but you might enjoy the sensation less.

It could be argued that you have less pleasure, but have it for longer so it’s a good trade. And you also get pleasure in knowing that you’re satisfying your partner, which is of course very important.

3. Transference to your partner

Any numbing spray has the potential to cause some problems for your partner if it transfers to them, either through penetrative sex or oral.

So it’s important to follow the instructions carefully (If you bought one that doesn’t have clear instructions, take a look at my article about using delay sprays).

Transference can still happen in some situations, such as getting the timing wrong or not washing it off properly.

In my experience, the best way to avoid this risk is to apply the spray or cream, wait a minute or two for it to absorb, then have a wash or shower. It might mean you get less numbing if you wash too soon or too much, but I find it works well to do this.

4. Having to apply it before having sex

Depending on your personal situation, the act of applying the spray or cream can be an issue.

If you’re in a relationship, or with an understanding person, it’s probably not so much of an issue – especially if you know exactly when you’re going to have sex.

But if you’re with a new partner, or it’s spontaneous sex, it can be a bit of a passion killer to pop into the bathroom to apply it and then wait to wash it off.

My advice is to just be upfront about it and make the most of that time to focus on giving your partner some amazing foreplay. Hopefully, they’ll be too busy being pleasured to make you feel awkward about the spray.

5. Not a cure

Desensitizing products don’t cure premature ejaculation, so if you choose to use them on an ongoing basis, you’ll have to keep buying them.

You might feel that it’s worth the cost. And even if you don’t have all the money in the world, the chances are you’ll still find enough for the upkeep of your sex life. But at the end of the day, the cost will add up if you have an active life between the sheets.


As you can see, there are good reasons for and against using a desensitizing product. The main positives are that they are easy to get, work quickly and you don’t have to put any effort into learning ejaculation control.

The main problems are that it’s not a cure and it can cause a loss of pleasure and erection strength.

My advice is that if you need something to help right now, it’s worth trying one to see if it suits you. Just make sure you follow the instructions carefully and don’t skip the part where you wash it off before sex.


  1. I sprayed the dragon spray on the tip of my penis. But unfortunately, it entered my penis hole. Since then I have been feeling pains when I touch my penis and also I still feel burning sensation when urinating. what should I do?

    • Hi Ricky
      Hopefully it should go away within a few hours once the effect wears off. If not, I would contact your doctor.

  2. I have been using IMAX delay spray for sometime now and now I can’t maintain an erection , am afraid is it going to be permanent or temporary

  3. Hey bro, if I use a numbing condom many times for several years, would the numbing compound in the condom cause any permanent damage to my penis because of using it several times? I am concerned about permanent sensation loss or reduction in sensation? Is there something like overuse of this kind of condom or we can use it indefinitely for a long time?

    • Hi Hariram
      Honestly, I don’t know. I haven’t seen any reports of people using it long term and having permanent side effects. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen. I would err on the side of caution and not use them multiple times per day for many days in a row, for example. And to have days off when you don’t use one at all. That’s what I did with lidocaine sprays – not because I was told to, but because it just instinctively felt sensible not to overload myself with chemicals.

    • That’s not a problem. You might be aware of some unusual sensation in your pants, but other than that, it’s fine.

  4. After using lidocaine cream on my penis, how to wash it before sex? Through soap, through hot water or through simple water?

    • Hi Sumair
      Any of those is fine. I personally think it’s whatever is easiest and quickest and works! Maybe some experimentation is needed, but if you can wipe it with a cloth or towel and it’s fine, there’s no need to have a whole soap and shower routine.

    • Not that I know of. Some men have temporary problems if the numbing is too strong, but it is not longterm impotence.

    • Hi Ishmael
      As far as I know, it’s not so much that it’s definitely bad, but more that they just don’t know what effect it might have. And considering most of them have no regulation from any government oversight agency, there’s a risk around the reality of the ingredients used in them.

    • This is a very difficult question to answer Obaid, because it largely depends on what causes your premature ejaculation. For some people, it’s a medical cause, others physical, others psychological/behavioral.
      If you can work out the cause, it’s a good start to overcoming it. But that’s not always easy without a trip to the doctor – which not all men feel comfortable in doing, understandably.
      If you can visit a doctor to rule out medical causes, great.
      If not, I’d experiment with different techniques. For example, the start and stop tecnique. Try a delay spray. Change the way you have sex so there is more foreplay for your partner and you do less exciting positions.
      Just some ideas to start!

  5. What will be the effect if my wife gives me a blowjob when I have not washed the penis after using the spray?

    • The effect might be she suddenly tells you her mouth feels numb and asks what hell you did to her! Seriously, just wipe or wash quickly and you should be fine. It’s not difficult to find 30 seconds to get rid of the excess.

  6. Hi ,
    When I do fast walk daily I get drastic change in my sexual timing, but worst thing is that I can’t walk or exercise daily bases for a long time because of my office work load as I do computer job. Please tell me, Is it better to contact any urologists ? If sexual time is very less. Or please suggest any cure to improve?

    • Hi KK
      Do you mean your sex life is better when you are physically active during the day? If so, my advice would be to just find the time to do exercise! There must be some time during the day, even if it’s just 5 or 10 minutes of very intense exercise to make up for the lack of time to do slower walking.

  7. Dear Ethan Green Sir,
    I am a married man of 27 years old.
    I married two years ago in this whole time i have serious premature ejaculation problems i used herbal products several times but they didn’t work at all. Please suggest me the best medicine having no side effects or suggest me any good company herbal products. Please reply me.
    Love from Pakistan.

    • Hi Sikandar
      I don’t feel I can recommend medication for you specifically as I’m not a doctor. What I will say is, have you tried a desensitizing spray or cream, or even a condom?

  8. Dear Ethan,
    I have been using delay cream for several weeks. I use to apply the said cream on genital shaft all around except head which gives me more pleasure. Now please guide, is this necessary to wash the penis after applying the cream before inserting in my partner’s vagina?
    If I do not wash and carry on sex then what could be possible side effects for my partner? And what is your opinion of using this before getting pregnant and after pregnancy?


    • Hi Asad
      Yes, always at least wipe with a wet cloth, or wash with whatever you feel is practical in the moment. You don’t want to numb your partner’s vagina (unless she wants that for some reason). Do not use it while trying to get pregnant.

    • I don’t know about cobra. But with viagra, it’s okay to combine them in my personal experience. But I also find I don’t need a spray if I take viagra.

  9. It’s my first time purchasing the eros delay cream. I would like to know if I can use it without a condom?

  10. Hi
    I’m 27 years old male and we’re trying to have a baby since 3 months (doing sex with applying delay spray)
    Is there any side effects of delay spray while conceiving pregnancy?

    • Hi Mudasir
      Most delay sprays say nothing in the instructions about trying to conceive while using them. And that’s possibly because most are sold online and don’t even have very good instructions. I have asked the manufacturers of two sprays, and they told me it’s best not to use a spray while trying to have a baby as there is limited information about the safety, so it’s best to be careful and not use it.

  11. If I am using delay spray and 4-5 puffs don’t work, can I use it according to the puffs I feel suitable?

    Second, does using it twice a week have a side effect?

    And what if I use them once and next day or later I feel the loss of sensation or erection in my penis – is this myth true?

    • Hi Sedoc
      Some men will need more, so yes it’s okay to use more. However, some sprays have a set number they say not to use more than. Other sprays don’t have very good instructions, so you have to decide yourself. I personally would never use more than 4 or 5, and would try a different spray instead.
      Twice a week should be fine.
      Some men will have a loss of erection in reaction to the spray, but this normally gets better quite quickly. If it’s still a problem days later, then you would need to see a doctor.

    • Hi Asif
      Did you see my main delay sprays and creams review article I mentioned? That lists my current recommendations.

    • Hi Allen
      It depends on the spray. I think as long as you give it a really good wash once it’s absorbed, maybe use a fragranced soap or put some aftershave/cologne on yourself to disguise and lingering smell, you will probably be fine.

  12. Hii
    I used stud spray for 3 years without washing it of any time I had sex. After three years I started noticing anytime I use the spray the numbing is not as effective as it was. What might be the problem?

    • Hi Duncan
      Perhaps you just got used to it after using it so many times! But I guess it’s possible the formula has changed slightly over the years too. I’m not sure though really.

  13. I used a cream with benzocaine as the main ingredient and applied what I believed to be a small amount and washed it off after. 24 hours later the numbing effect is still present. What do I do?

    • Hi
      It’s unusual that it lasts so long. Which cream did you use? It should hopefully have stopped by the time you get this reply though.

    • Hi Asik
      I really don’t know, sorry. Why don’t you try contacting the Promescent team on their website, as they are usually pretty good at answering specific questions about delay products. I would also ask your own doctor to get a proper medical opinion.

    • Hi,
      No it doesn’t. However, sometimes they can make it more difficult for some men to maintain a good erection. So until it wears off, it might look smaller. But this is a temporary effect and one that can be avoided by using a good spray and not using too much of it.

  14. HI

    I used to use delay cream and it worked fine for me from last 2-3 years but 2 days back I used cream which I purchased last year. I left it for 25 minutes and after that I am not able to get erection. Not even after washing that and its been 2 days now and I am still not able to get proper erection. How do I overcome this issue?


    • Hi Ali
      That is unusual. If it’s still an issue when you read this reply, I would speak to your doctor about it and not use them again.

    • Ali did you get help and advice on what to do please? And thank you because I just suffered a similar thing. So can you please share with me what help you have got.

  15. Dragon Delay Spray For Men I used it twice without washing it off because when you buy there is no place that states you need to wash it. For some time now I have Loss of erection and I don’t know what to do now.

    • Hi Khan
      The general advice is not to use these sprays if your partner is pregnant, or trying to get pregnant.

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